Monday, October 29, 2012
For All The Saints by Kristen Smith Dayley's
For All The Saints, I'm pleased to announce, is a book that will attract all LDS readers, and those who aren't LDS but are curious about the church. This book takes us on a remarkable journey into the lives of some of the most dedicated and righteous men and women in the history of our church. Many whose names we perhaps haven't heard of, fill the pages with their diligence, their sacrifice and their love of the Gospel. Kristen's ability to bring the sacrifices of these devoted saints to life in the reader's mind and heart is remarkable. For All The Saints is a book you don't want to miss reading. You'll understand what I saying when you read it.
Now, may I introduce you to the book's author, Kristen Smith Dayley.
Me: Kristen, tell the readers a little bit about yourself.
Kristen: I am a mother with four children at home, including a set of five-month-old twins, who keep us hopping and very happy. I've had the privilege of living in many different places, which has taught me that there are wonderful people and amazing things to discover no matter where you are. We have been in Seattle area for nine years now and, having just built a home here, hope to stay put long enough to raise our children. That being said, my East Coast roots are strong and I insist on many regular pilgrimages out to New England with my children in tow so they have some tie to the area I remember from my own childhood.
I am a practicing attorney and have been for 16 years. Three months ago I formed my own law firm with some colleagues, which gives me the ability to work from home.
Me: What inspired you to write this book?
Kristen: Truthfully, I never aspired to be a writer. Eight years ago, Clayton Christensen, who is a best-selling author and a professor at Harvard Business School, called and told me that he'd spent the last ten years working with a team of people to collect or histories from individuals who had been involved in the LDS Church in New England since the 1930's. They had collected hundreds of transcripts on interviews they'd conducted with General Authorities, new converts and everyone in between. It was his desire to turn them into a book that would inspire faith, instill a sense of gratitude for the sacrifices of those who have gone before, and teach lessons about what it means to be a disciple and build the Lord's kingdom wherever we are. When I received the thousands of pages, I was immediately captured the the powerful stories, testimonies and insights It took me eight years to sort through the transcripts, organize the examples and turn it into a cohesive narrative. There were times I wanted to throw in the towel, but I felt an immense sense of responsibility to share the accounts I've had the privilege to work with and learn from. I'm in the very unique position of having received a volume of untouched source material so rich that it was begging to be told.
Me: How many books have you authored?
Kristen: For All The Saints is my first, unless you count several boxes of journals and a number of self-illustrated creative writing projects from elementary school.
Me: What is your favorite genre?
Kristen: I love historical fiction. I love learning more about a time and a place through characters eyes and perspectives. Several years ago I read Here Be Dragons, by Sharon Kay Penman, about the intrigue and relations between the Welsh and the English in the 13th century. I was so inspired that I made a trip to Wales to see for myself. I was impressed at how well her story line held up to real scrutiny against the historical records and artifacts, and I fell in love with Llewelyn, the Prince of North Wales.
I also enjoy non-fiction writers like Malcolm Gladwell and Atul Gwande, who make fields such as medicine, science and sociology come alive through highly engaging anecdotes and personal experiences. I hope readers find the anecdotes and personal narratives in For All The Saints similarly eye-opening and valuable.
Me: Thank you, Kristen. It has been a joy getting to know you. I also want to thank you for this book you have written for me and for all those who open the cover and find themselves captivated by the touching stories inside.